#ocTEL week 0 – Introduction

A bit of a bumpy start to my ocTEL experience…I returned home from holiday last night to find a completely clogged up inbox, as I had not realised I needed to switch my email receipt settings so I get the digests and not all the individual emails (in common with a number of fellow participants!) I could not find my ocTEL registration email (in my junk folder), and had to do a lot of sorting out to get up and running. Anyway, I think I’m ready now!

I started this blog recently to capture various strands of work I’m doing on educational technology (or technology-enhanced learning, to use a more up to date term). I teach accounting in the business school of a large Russell group university, but I have been interested in educational technology for a while now. I can see its power to enrich teaching and learning and challenge our students.

My undergraduate studies (not in accounting) were not particularly technology-enhanced, as they were quite some time ago! However, I designed a web resource for fellow students as my final year project, so that was my earliest experience. At the university where I taught previously, I was introduced to Blackboard, and taught on a face to face course with about 1,000 undergraduate students registered. We decided to make the experience ‘blended max’ by leveraging as much from Blackboard as we could to help us manage the scale of the course. However, noting others’ rather ‘trial and error’ approach, I decided I wanted to understand more about the pedagogical affordances of the various technologies that were available, to try and use them in a more focused way. So, I enrolled on the Open University’s Online and Distance Education postgraduate programme. I have got a lot from this programme, not least the experience of being an online distance learning student and all that that entails. I also found this useful in my role as module coordinator for a large online distance learning MBA module. I took a pause in my studies on changing jobs last year, but I plan to resume with my final course towards the MA later on in 2013. In the meantime, when a colleague mentioned this MOOC in an open meeting at my university, I thought it might be interesting, not just for the content and making connections with fellow participants, but also for the experience of being an MOOC student.

So, I guess I have a moderate amount of previous experience both as a student and in using technology enhanced learning (TEL) technologies and pedagogies in my teaching. However, still plenty of capacity to learn and develop further!

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